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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Disney competition opens doors for winning UA designers

They won first place in one of Disney’s most competitive contests last month. Now, Patrick Bradley, Lane Garrison, Bianca Kuo and Jeff Leinenveber are molding their futures off of their experiences at Walt Disney Imagineering’s 19th ImagiNations design competition.

The annual event is hosted by Walt Disney Imagineering, and was created to encourage students to showcase their imaginations and consider careers in engineering and the arts.

“”We knew that Imagineering was a great way for college students to put a foot in the door and show off your skills and what you can bring to the company,”” said Leinenveber, a UA senior working toward a major in business communications with an emphasis in graphic design. “”The competition was a great way to get ourselves seen.””

The competitors said they dedicated countless hours of devotion and passion into their project, which they eventually christened “”Pandora’s Peak: Race for the Voyager’s Cup.””

“”We did all this work, putting months and months and months into this project. We sent it off in February and it was kind of the scary part, because we really didn’t know if we were ever going to see our work again,”” Leinenveber said.

The creativity and originality of the Wildcat team members paid off when they were selected as finalists to showcase “”Pandora’s Peak”” to the judges in Glendale, Calif. On the final day of the competition, the UA group was announced as the winning team.

In addition to presenting their project during the weeklong showcase in Glendale, the finalists had the opportunity to be interviewed for internships at Walt Disney Imagineering and introduce themselves to important figures in the Imagineering world. The Wildcat team members are now back on their own paths, but they were all grateful for the career opportunities presented to them at the ImagiNations competition.

“”I think I can speak for all of us when I say it was the first time working with people outside our realm of comfort. It was very interesting seeing our different viewpoints come into this project,”” Kuo said.

Kuo accepted an internship with Disney Imagineering for the summer. She will return to UA this fall to finish her final semester and she plans to graduate in December.

“”I would love to come back here again,”” Kuo said. “”I’d love a job here, but it’s all up in the air right now.””

Leinenveber is focusing on his Imagineering internship in the Building Specialties department, studying the art of show lighting and other graphic effects. Leinenveber plans to graduate from the UA next May.

“”This project forced us to move outside our comfort zones. It prepared us for Imagineering and a lot more,”” Leinenveber said.

Garrison is an 2009 UA alumnus with degrees in East Asian studies and illustration. He agreed with Kuo that working in a group on such an important project gave them a lot of valuable teamwork experience.

“”I think the group aspect of the project is the greatest thing to take away from the experience,”” Garrison said.

Bradley graduated from UA in May 2009 with a bachelors degree in architecture and now works full-time as an architectural intern at Rob Paulus Architects in Tucson.

“”I’m in a little bit of a different situation than my teammates because I have a full-time position in Tucson,”” Bradley said. “”It didn’t make sense for me to take a summer internship. I guess the hope at this point is to keep in touch with (Disney Imagineering) and see if anything opens up in the future.””

Like Bradley, the rest of the team is hoping for a future career to come from their experience in the ImagiNations competition.

“”We’ve all made a lot of great contacts with the company, as well as friendships with the other finalists,”” Bradley said. “”I think all of us hope that we could find long-time positions and other internships with the company later on and have a solid relationship built.””

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